I'm sympathetic toward Ron Paul, but his stance on the FDA really worries me. It sounds like he wants to eliminate or at least vastly weaken drug testing. While he doesn't come right out and say that (that I can find), he does make a lot of anti-FDA statements that worry me.
I think people don't know exactly why the power of the FDA was expanded in 1961. A drug called Thalidomide was released in Europe for morning sickness, and the company that manufactured it wanted to bring it to the US. A lone FDA worker by the name of Frances Kelsey insisted on more testing ("more burdensome testing" many modern politicians would call it) before it could be released because she had concerns about the drug. The company put a lot of pressure on her to approved it, saying it had already been released in Europe, yadda, yadda.
Well, it turned out that the drug caused truly horrific birth defects (do a Google picture search for "thalidomide"). 10,000 kids in 46 countries were badly damaged (and innumerable more were just stillborn). The only thing that saved literally thousands of American children from this fate was Kelsey, who received the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. It was total luck that she had had a specific background in biochemistry and pregnancy to know to stop the drug.
Presumably, Ron Paul, being a doctor, knows the story of Thalidomide. We have had the world of a weak FDA. Companies can and will push drugs out if less testing is required.
If Ron Paul believes the FDA should be less corrupt, or should be less influenced by drug companies, or whatever, then I can get on board. But it sounds like he wants to gut the FDA in the name of "The Federal Government shouldn't be doing that," and that is just crazy, based on history.
Does anyone have any specifics about Ron Paul's beliefs on this? I like a lot of what he says, but some things I just can't embrace.